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Munster Rugby Confirm Johann van Graan Departure At End Of Season

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Munster Rugby Head Coach Johann van Graan has made the decision to depart the province at the end of the current season, on completion of his current contract.

Joining the province in November 2017, van Graan was offered a two-year contract extension and after much consideration has made the decision to not progress with the deal and will complete his time with the province at the end of June 2022.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said, “While I was at advanced stages in the contract process earlier this year, I took a step back and reconsidered my options, prioritising what’s best for my family, myself, and Munster Rugby.

“My family and I settled well into life here, this is our home, and in an ideal world we would love to continue living in Limerick, but I’ve been looking at the bigger picture.

“After arriving during the 2017/18 season, I am now into my fifth season with this group and in putting Munster first I believe it’s the right decision for me to call time on my contribution and step away at the end of this season.

“While we have achieved so much together, and still have over six months of the season remaining, I wanted any uncertainty about my future addressed as early as possible.

“Working with this coaching team, staff, and players we are always striving to do our best for Munster Rugby, and nothing will change on that front.

“It has been an incredible journey and I’m hugely proud of this group for everything we have done to-date knowing there is so much more to come as we move towards the business end of the season.”

Munster Rugby CEO Ian Flanagan added, “We will be disappointed to see Johann go at the end of the season, he will be widely missed after forming such close relationships across the organisation.

“Johann has been a valued addition to the province and integral to all the successes we have achieved over the past four years.

“His hands-on approach and tireless work ethic have ensured the structures are well in place for continued success and we know he will continue to deliver on all fronts for the remainder of the season.

“For now, we are working closely with the IRFU in looking to identify suitable replacements with the confirmed departures of both Johann and Steve (Stephen Larkham) next summer.”

During his time van Graan has provided much needed stability across the High Performance Centre further aligning the senior and academy structures with more visibility for the next generation of players.

Players such as Shane Daly, Gavin Coombes, Fineen Wycherley, Craig Casey, Thomas Ahern, and Ben Healy to name a few have all progressed in their careers during his tenure.  The former Springbok coach was the catalyst for securing the services of the World Cup winning duo of RG Snyman and Damian de Allende while he also oversaw the recruitment of key signings such as Joey Carbery, Alby Mathewson, Mike Haley, and Simon Zebo.

The second longest-serving Munster coach of the professional era, Johann has guided the province to consistent successful performances across Europe and the domestic league. Since joining in 2017 Munster have reached two Champions Cup semi-finals, three league semi-finals, and a PRO14 final earlier this year.

Source – Munster Rugby


URC

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Cardiff At Thomond

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The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday night’s URC Round 13 clash against Cardiff at Thomond Park.

The game kicks off at 7.35pm with tickets from €20 available here.

In player news, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Crowley, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash and Peter O’Mahony have all returned to the HPC after helping Ireland to the 6 Nations title.

On the injury front, Academy back-row forward Ruadhán Quinn suffered a hand injury against Ospreys on Friday night and will be sidelined for a number of weeks.

Oli Jager and Fineen Wycherley have started their rehab following minor procedures for respective knee injuries.

Alex Nankivell is completing the RTP protocols and his availability will be determined later this week.

Simon Zebo was unavailable for the Ospreys game due to a low-grade hip injury and is due to return to training this week.

Continuing to rehab: Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder), Diarmuid Barron (foot), Roman Salanoa (knee), Jean Kleyn (knee/eye), Paddy Patterson (knee), Liam Coombes (shoulder), Patrick Campbell (shoulder).

There were 15 Munster players in AIL action at the weekend.

In Division 1A, Fionn Gibbons and Chris Moore helped Young Munster beat Dublin University with Gibbons among the tries.

Mark Donnelly lined out for Cork Constitution as they were beaten by Terenure College.

Kieran Ryan, Darragh McSweeney and Daniel Okeke couldn’t prevent Shannon falling to a defeat to City of Armagh.

In Division 1B, Colm Hogan, Jack Oliver, George Hadden, Max Clein, Cian Hurley and Jack Daly helped Garryowen to a win over Queen’s University. Hogan, Clein and Cronin were among the tries with Oliver kicking a conversion.

Scott Buckley and Andrew O’Mahony were in action for UCC as they lost to St Mary’s College.

Tickets

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Women’s 6 Nations Round 3: Saturday, April 13

Ireland v Wales, Virgin Media Park, 4.45pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

Squad Update | Preparations Continue For Ospreys

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The Munster squad are continuing preparations ahead of Friday night’s URC Round 12 clash against Ospreys in Swansea (7.35pm).

On the injury front, there is good news for John Hodnett (finger), Jack O’Donoghue (knee) and Simon Zebo (knee) as they all return to training this week.

Oli Jager (knee) and Fineen Wycherley (knee) are both due to see specialists this week for possible surgery.

Alex Nankivell is following the return to play protocols following a head injury in training last week.

On the international front, Craig Casey and Jeremy Loughman have returned to the squad after Ireland’s 6 Nations triumph at the weekend.

Continuing to rehab: Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder), Diarmuid Barron (foot), Roman Salanoa (knee), Jean Kleyn (knee/eye), Paddy Patterson (knee), Liam Coombes (shoulder), Patrick Campbell (shoulder).

Tickets

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Women’s 6 Nations Round 3: Saturday, April 13

Ireland v Wales, Virgin Media Park, 4.45pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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URC

British & Irish Lion to join Glasgow Warriors

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Sutherland to join Glasgow Warriors

Glasgow Warriors can confirm that Scotland prop Rory Sutherland will join the club this summer.

The British and Irish Lion joins the Scotstoun-outfit from French side Oyonnax, making the move to Scotstoun on a two-year deal as Franco Smith’s squad continues to take shape.

The confirmation of the loose-head prop’s move to Glasgow also comes on the eve of his involvement in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin, where he is in contention to win his 30th cap for Scotland, part of the match day squad.

The 31-year-old Sutherland will bring a dynamic ball-carrying presence to the Warriors in addition to a solid platform at the set-piece.

After making his debut for Edinburgh in 2014, the prop went on to make 91 appearances in the capital before a summer switch to Worcester Warriors in 2021.

A short-term stint with Ulster followed after Worcester’s demise in 2022, running out on 12 occasions for the Irish province.

Sutherland’s form for Scotland across the 2020 and 2021 campaigns saw him selected for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, joining future Glasgow team-mate Zander Fagerson amongst the front-row options.

He became the first Scottish prop to represent the invitational squad since the late Tom Smith when selected for the first Test, playing just under an hour in the 22-17 victory over the Springboks.

Sutherland said: “The past couple of years have been tough since I had to leave Worcester. I’ve been at a few clubs and I haven’t had the consistency I’d have liked in my game. This move to Glasgow, and back to Scotland, offers me the chance to work on getting that back into my rugby.

“Glasgow is a really successful team, so to be offered the chance to come to Scotstoun is attractive for any player. For me, it allows me to come back home, and be closer to my family, which will work wonders for me.

“I’ve gotten close to some of the Glasgow players while in camp with Scotland and they talk highly of Franco and the culture in the club. I’m looking forward to that and getting back to the homeland!”

Head Coach Smith added: “We are pleased to be able to add a prop of Rory’s calibre to our squad ahead of next season.

“His qualities will make him a real asset to our playing group, as we continue to develop our strength in every position.

“We look forward to seeing him in action at Scotstoun over the next couple of seasons and we know that the Warrior Nation will welcome him to our club.”

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